Cowboys Say LB Leighton Vander Esch’s Injury Not “Career-Threatening”

Leighton Vander Esch in 2019. Photo by Albert Pena/CSM/Shutterstock

Although Dallas Cowboys’ linebacker Leighton Vander Esch might miss the rest of 2019 with a neck injury, it seems like his career isn’t in jeopardy as some thought.

Cowboys’ head coach Jason Garrett spoke with reporters on Friday about Vander Esch, saying that the 23-year-old Pro Bowler will miss Week 12 games against New England Patriots and might not return on the field this season. Still, according to Garrett, the injury isn’t “career-threatening.”

“Leighton was having some symptoms yesterday, so we had him checked out. It was determined that he has an issue in his neck,” said Garrett. “He’s not gonna be available for this week’s game. We don’t think it’s career-threatening.”

Vander Esch initially suffered a stinger in Week 8 win against Philadelphia Eagles but ended up missing just one Cowboys’ game before returning to the starting lineup in the last two weeks. However, his condition worsened after a flare-up on practice this week, and the MRI ended up showing that the injury was more serious than it was originally thought.

Leighton Vander Esch had an impressive rookie season last year, earning a Pro Bowl appearance and Second-Team All-Pro honors. Vander Esch’s sophomore season was also on a good track as he currently has second-most tackles on the Cowboys team with 87. He also added 0.5 sacks, forced fumble and three pass deflections in 2019.